Dating Smart: How to Date Online Safely
When I first started dating online, I didn’t know how to do it the safe way. I shared way too much information about myself and I paid a price for doing that.
Before I reached my first month of dating online, I had already received a stalker. This wasn’t your average stalker because we never exchanged names, contact information or any information at all that could link my dating profile to my actual self in Dallas. My stalker found not one, but two of my personal email accounts, and my personal blog (not Addie’s). He proceeded to email me at both accounts, add me on Facebook, Skype, LinkedIn, Pinterest—anything that had my name connected with it.
The emails he sent were contentious, narcissistic and a tad bit scary. He made comments about how he “missed me,” and asked if he could call me at my “-**36” number—which by the way, is my cell phone number.
This guy, whoever he is, is not your average Joe, and he is still out there. He’s just not messing with me anymore.
One mistake that he made while sending multiple emails to my personal email account was to remember to make his IP address untraceable. He did accomplish to make 4/5 emails untraceable, but because he forgot one, I had gained the edge I needed to scare him off for good.
Needless to say, I learned my lesson. Since then, I have changed so many things regarding my interaction online and my privacy. Below I have listed some of my rules as references for you to help you date smart online!
Before you get online:
• Set up a third-party email address for your online dating profile—make sure the email address does not have your name, address, or any personal information associated with it
While dating online:
• Don’t include anything in your profile or username that could identify you
• Don’t place your full name or even first name on your profile
• Research any prospective dates
• Do not include anything in your profile that could link your dating profile to your personal life
• Always, block/report anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable!
For your first date:
• Always meet in a public place
• Always tell someone where you are going and with who. Maybe even consider showing that person a picture of who you are meeting
• Always carry your cell phone
• Don’t drink too much
• Keep an eye on your food, drinks and if you’re a girl, keep an eye on your purse!
• Do not accept a ride from your date